Are Blizzard focusing primarily on PC with Overwatch?

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We’ve been praising Blizzard over the past few weeks after their launch of Overwatch. They’ve listened to the gamers, responded to requests, and remained active on almost all social media outlets including their own forums. This stands true, but mostly for PC. Yesterday we all shed a tear for Console players who have been plagued with the Torbjorn stacks making the game less enjoyable. Naturally in the comments the age old PC vs. Console war brewed, but are we wrong to assume that Blizzard’s main focus for Overwatch is in fact on PC?

Let’s look at the facts before we look into personal accounts. This is in all essence an Arena Shooter, a genre which was made successful on PC, but has existed on Console in the past. While the FPS genre is not up for debate, the use of attributes and abilities possessed by characters does make the game slightly more intricate when it comes to simple enjoyment for consoles. We’re still debating whether we consider Overwatch to be a FPS-MOBA, or an Arena Shooter, and this unfortunately is a tough model for consoles.

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If we switch over to the PC side we see a developing eSports industry evolving weekly with more tournaments and competitions. Even locally we already have two stable running competitions. Last week Blizzard released a balance patch for Widowmaker and McCree, something they saw as overpowered in the competitive world. They’ve also been extremely active in responding to questions regarding the future of Overwatch eSports, and the direction of the game as it evolves competitively. These are all centrally focused on PC as that may the market which is succeeding in the eyes of Blizzard. This is perhaps a gross assumption, but there are clear issues with console at the moment, issues which haven’t been addressed since launch, and here is one of the major ones.

It was brought to our attention that console gamers wishing to connect within the console community could not do so through Blizzard’s community forums. Their accounts (PSN/Xbox Live) were set as trial accounts on the Blizzard forums and therefore unable to comment or post. This seems to be a pressing issue with the United States only, and users are not happy. Often Blizzard support are quick to jump on forum posts, especially ones that have over 300 replies. According to our source, the moderators didn’t respond.

“At this point all I want to be able to do is tell Blizzard the parts of the console game play that are broken, and maybe link up with other serious gamers to find a group, but according to the moderators they won’t let us on because the US is full of trolls. 

“It doesn’t stop there, because he goes on to tell us the EU server has a console forum for its users, but because US users are full of trolls, we don’t get one.  I’m a little beside myself that a company would exclude 2/3rds of its community, especially when this is the  2/3rds that are spending and[sic] extra $20 on the game (PC game cost $40, console cost $60).  I get heated, and I post how outrageous it is in a new topic in the Technical Support Forum (because that’s the only place I can post).  I check the post a little later to see if the moderators even care, and the post has magically vanished.”

For someone who has put over 120 hours into Overwatch since launch, it’s no surprise that our friend here is upset. It’s clear that there are issues on Console, issues which need to be addressed, yet a large portion of the community have been left out.

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Jeff Kaplan has been very vocal about Overwatch, the direction, and his decision to listen to fans. But these changes have been most felt with PC, especially now that competitive play has been put into the Public Test Realm on PC. It will soon arrive on console as well, but hopefully once all issues are resolved.

 

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Last Updated: June 23, 2016

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

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